A new report shows that one in four Arkansan adults smoke.
That stat moves the Natural State from 48th in overall health nationwide to 46th.
According to America’s Health Rankings, Arkansas’ biggest challenge is smoking.
Using the state’s all-payer claims database, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement found the state spends $795 million on tobacco-related illnesses.
The state’s $1.15 per pack tax on cigarettes brings in $165 million in revenue.
That means Arkansans who don’t smoke pick up the rest of the bill, which is $630 million.
“I think it is fair to say that nonsmokers are paying for the harm caused by tobacco among our fellow citizens,” Dr. Joe Thompson with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement says.
The new report also lists a high cardiovascular death rate and a low rate of dentists as the state’s other biggest challenges.